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Sail Date: September 2018
I wanted to go on this ship and see what i thought. PRE CRUISE I flew from london to vancover on direct flight on air canada got train to b&b nobody there but got a password to the keys,later went to canada place to see nieuw ... Read More
I wanted to go on this ship and see what i thought. PRE CRUISE I flew from london to vancover on direct flight on air canada got train to b&b nobody there but got a password to the keys,later went to canada place to see nieuw amsterdam sail. Then the owner was there no heating despite asklng and did not like me going outside to smoke. Check in. I left the b&b nobody around and got train to canada place. Check in was quick despite no going in the platinum queue. Then after the picture i went onboard to find my cabin which was ready. Cabin. I had a studio cabin on 12 deck 12517, tv, shower,virtual view. No drawers but ok for a short cruise. Lifeboat drill. At 3.30pm had lifeboat drill in show lounge no lifejacket required almost forgot to scan my card it was over quickly. My account. As i do not have a credit card and using a debit card charges it twice i was going to use the atm onboard until i find it is a $6.00 charge. So went ashore and got canadian money instead. Dinner. I had booked cagneys so went there i did try to share but sadly no good so sat alone. I had a voucher being a platimum member so got a free meal and a bottle of wine. Had a mini filet mignon a bit small a good dinner. No show booked so went to welcome aboard not what i expected then cigar room for a cigar then studio lounge for coffee and fruit. Shows. Havana and jersey boys were good and beatles tribute in the cavern and main lounge really good. Ports of call. Victoria i went to see butchart gardens already so got shuttle into town and did miniture wonderland. San francisco i booked trip to alcatraz myself at $30 at 12.00 despite the long delay getting off ship i made it ok. Other restaurants. As a platinum member i had 2 vouchers and a 3 dining deal. After cagneys i did los lobos(mexican) really enjoyed it there despite sitting on my own also did q prime rib with the other solos really good, never got to go to the main dining room. Service. My stateroom steward who i did not see much was ok mucked up my ice i wanted and one night had no interest in doing my cabin for the evening. Then on last day wanted me out and said i had to go now despite it being before the time,not impressed. Disembarkation. Pretty good i said 0930 as did not want to rush got off before that as was very well done. My thoughts. Enjoyed the ship but need to be able to share with others more and do not like the booking for shows much. Liked the meeting up with solos in studio lounge and jose was so good. Would go on ncl again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my hubby and I's 9th cruise and 8th cruise with NCL. I would have to say, this was the best one yet! Our favorite ship was the "Pearl", but now....it the "Bliss"!!! This was so much better! The ship is ... Read More
This was my hubby and I's 9th cruise and 8th cruise with NCL. I would have to say, this was the best one yet! Our favorite ship was the "Pearl", but now....it the "Bliss"!!! This was so much better! The ship is beautiful and really spacious, we never felt crowded. In fact, I took a picture of my hubby in the "side" room of the Observation area and he was sitting all alone! Our favorite hang-out was in the Atrium....loved "Phil & Keysha" and ended up following the around from venue to venue like groupies....LOL! My hubby said that the Phil's guitar playing skills are awesome! We also saw "Jersey Boys"....it was spectacular! They vocals were spot-on and a wonderful theatre, loved the bar service in our seats! For eats...we ate at the Local (a few times) and Taste (once for dinner and twice for breakfast) and at the Speciality restaurants: Margaritaville, Food Republic, Teppanyaki, Los Lobos and Cagneys.....all great food, but Los Lobos was really slow. We think something most have happened in the kitchen because we never had any problems with any of the other restaurants. And finally, the Go-Karts.....awesome!!! It was so much fun! Wish we could have gone again, but ran out of time. Can't wait for our next NCL Cruise....wish it was tomorrow!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Being big fans of NCL's Breakaway and its Haven, we were really excited to try the Bliss. The short-ish (5 night) southbound West Coast itinerary was intriguing, too; as experienced cruisers, we've done the Caribbean, Alaska, ... Read More
Being big fans of NCL's Breakaway and its Haven, we were really excited to try the Bliss. The short-ish (5 night) southbound West Coast itinerary was intriguing, too; as experienced cruisers, we've done the Caribbean, Alaska, Canada, and a little bit of Europe, too, so this was new to us, and perfect: embark in Vancouver; Victoria, BC the next day; then a sea day; San Francisco the next day; another sea day; and then disembarkation in the Los Angeles area (San Pedro). A good mix of active and relaxing days. Embarkation in Vancouver couldn't have been easier, but this could be party due to the fact that we got to the ship around 6 pm and so basically just stepped aboard. We were quite pleased with our cabin, 9106, at the very forward port-side corner of Deck 9; this is a Haven cabin although not IN the Haven complex proper. The forward corner Haven cabins are terrific in that there are two rooms: a bedroom and a separate living room with a dining area, and a spacious two-sink bathroom with shower and separate whirlpool tub. We quickly went up to the topmost decks to check out the Haven complex, and were totally wowed by the Horizon Lounge, with its plentiful comfy seating, 24-hour complementary cappuccino maker (teas, regular coffee, and fruited water also available), two levels of couches and lounges, and its two-deck-high front window wall. Amazing. The Horizon Lounge quickly became my favorite space on the ship. There is also a similar, enormous Observation Lounge on a lower deck (15?) for all passengers on the ship to enjoy; we took a peek in and it looked very comfy and inviting. The Haven courtyard and lounge on the Bliss are quite inviting. The Haven restaurant has added an outside patio seating area - we had lunch there on day - which is a cool idea, but it overlooked a noisy area of the main pool deck, so it could have been situated differently and been more successful. The upgraded Haven sun deck was gorgeous, with plenty of individual cabanas, lounges, and whirlpools. Food on the Bliss is some of the best we've had at sea. Food Republic is a terrific international-small-bites (some not so small) restaurant that rivals any tapas restaurant on land. Los Lobos Mexican was a pleasant addition to the NCL lineup, and Teppanyaki is an old favorite from the Breakaway brought back. Meals in the Haven restaurant were superb, but as I've said before from our experiences on the Breakaway, they really should rotate their nightly menus to give Haven guests the same kind of choice as diners at the three MDRs (which we did not try this time, nor did we try the buffet). The 24-hour restaurant, here called The Local, offered some tasty treats, too (loved the turkey chili). Entertainment is topnotch, as we have come to expect from NCL. The original musical Havana! was a surprising delight. Jersey Boys was Broadway caliber. Perhaps our favorite evenings were spent watching a wonderful Beatles cover band, Beatlemania Live, perform two shows, one in the Cavern Club at Sea (it looks nothing like the original in Liverpool, btw, being basically the same space as the blues club on the Breakaway), and one in the main theater. NCL never disappoints with entertainment. Service all over the ship was wonderful; we have nothing but good things to say about the NCL Bliss staff. We would love to sail the Bliss again, and are looking forward to more ships in the Breakaway Plus class. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The embarkation was quick, partly because we were there early. Too bad it rained all day in Vancouver, so we were not able to enjoy Vancouver before we sail out in the middle of the night. We had a balcony on deck 9. The cabin is nice, ... Read More
The embarkation was quick, partly because we were there early. Too bad it rained all day in Vancouver, so we were not able to enjoy Vancouver before we sail out in the middle of the night. We had a balcony on deck 9. The cabin is nice, ok for the two of us. A little tight by the foot of the bed to the desk. The balcony was nice, it has 2 chairs and a little table. The bathroom is little bigger than other ships, and I like the additional shelf space next to the toilet and the trash can is under the sink behind a door. The closet is small, too small! Dining, we didn't even have a chance to eat in the main dining room. My husband was kinda disappointed. We had Le Bistro, La Cucina and Teppanyaki. He didn't enjoyed the dinners, because he was on a no beef, no seafood diet! I liked the dinners at each of the specialty dining. The entertainment was good. Jersey Boys is a must if you go. Havana was ok, didn't enjoy the story line, but love how they have couple performers were older and they were really good! The service was good at certain dept and bad at another. Service at all dining areas were always excellent. Reservation for specialty dining was bad, Why couldn't they just have one line? Of course, I was always in the slowest line! Reservation for GO Cart. That guy was just bad,no greeting, no smile, no hello, nothing! I was ready to go to another helper, and I told him, he was being very unprofessional! Go Cart was fun, especially I came in first! Too bad I made the reservation for later time during the cruise, my husband wanted a re-match.. he just have to wait until February! The games are always fun. but some of the games at night needs to tone down, there were kids in the atrium. LOVE the observation deck! But there are people hogging the lounge chair. They just put their hat or a jacket on the chair, then they disappear, then there are people go there to sleep! Getting off the ship was ok, since we waited to the last group, but there was still a long line to get off the ship! Going back on the Bliss in Feb 2019 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We are in our early 50’s, aren’t married and have no kids, we have been on more than 50 previous cruises on 6 different cruise lines, most of which to the Caribbean. We’ve cruised with NCL before but not for more than 15 years. We ... Read More
We are in our early 50’s, aren’t married and have no kids, we have been on more than 50 previous cruises on 6 different cruise lines, most of which to the Caribbean. We’ve cruised with NCL before but not for more than 15 years. We chose this cruise to check out the new ship and because a Pacific Coastal is a nice change of pace from a Caribbean itinerary. We chose to fly in the day of sailing to reduce time away from home and avoid the expense of a hotel in Vancouver. We normally fly to the embarkation port a day prior to sailing in case of travel delays, but since sail away was scheduled for overnight and the first port was Victoria, we decided the risk was minimal and flew in the day of sailing. Our flight landed just before 1PM in Vancouver. My plan was to take the train from the airport to the port, but since it was raining, we decided to hop on a transfer. After finding our luggage and exiting the baggage area we easily found the NCL desk and asked about the transfer. They took our name and room number, so they could charge the transfer to our onboard account, they also took our checked bag and transported to the ship separately. Then sent us out to the pick-up area where we waited only about ten minutes before a bus arrived. Because of traffic the ride to the ship took almost an hour. The only complaint about the transfer was that the bus smelled horribly of stale cigarette smoke. At least we didn’t get wet since we boarded and exited the bus under cover. There was no waiting to check in, just a lot of walking. First through security then upstairs to check in then back downstairs to board the ship. We arrived right when the muster drill was starting, so we went directly to our muster station, The Local Bar and Grill, to participate. After the drill I wanted a drink, but out of all the bars on board I could find only 2 open and they were 4 deep with people, so I gave up and went to the room. We were in room 11100. This was a room with a window all the way in the front of the ship. I booked it because I thought it might be a little bigger than most and I think it was but only by the storage and bench area right under the window. The room was much narrower than I’m used to, there was only about 3-4 inches between the end of the bed and the wall. The shower was a nice sized glass enclosure with no clinging curtain, it would’ve been nice to have a shaving step in the shower. The ship is very long with only two elevator banks, it is a very long walk between this room and the forward elevator bank. I recommend a room closer to the elevators. And a word about the elevators, they were very slow. There was almost always a long wait for an elevator and often they would open but were already full. They really need to work on some logic to improve the elevator service. Our bags were already at our room when we arrived, so I decided to unpack while he went to see if the pool bar was open to get some drinks. When booking the room with a window we received the drink package and 3-night dining package. One nice thing about the drink package on NCL that is different from others I’ve experienced is that they will give you two drinks with one card, perhaps since both in the room are required to have the package. After unpacking we spent some time at the pool bar even though it was raining and cool it was less crowded than the couple bars open inside. The first night we ate at La Cucina. We chose to eat outside because this inside was hot and noisy. They offered blankets if you were cold, I’m not sure why they didn’t turn on the heaters in the ceiling. The food was mostly good, my salad and veal were good, but my tortellini seemed like from pasta from Costco. He had gnocchi with pesto and that was his favorite of the night. Service was very slow. Since we wouldn’t sail until overnight we had the Vancouver skyline as our view, nice. After dinner we had a drink at the atrium bar before heading to the room, it had been a long day. Since we left Vancouver later than scheduled, we wouldn’t arrive in Victoria until late morning. We had nothing planned for Victoria and thought we’d walk into town if the weather was nice. Again, the day was cloudy and wet, so we opted to stay on board today and explore the ship. Much of our route between Vancouver and Victoria straddled the international boarder, so for much of the way we were charged tax on our drinks. I’m puzzled about this, some cruise lines charge tax some don’t. Another puzzle, like many land and sea based venues NCL has discontinued the use of plastic straws, but then why do they use disposable plastic cups at the pool bar? Plastic cups contain much more material than plastic straws. We had breakfast in the buffet. I loved how they had about a dozen or more omelet stations set up during breakfast. Very fast and easy service. Today we stayed on board and took some pictures around the ship, spent some more time at the pool bar, read and napped. I also had lunch in the buffet, there was a nice variety of offerings including fish sticks and mac and cheese. Tonight, we ate at Q’s Texas Smokehouse. I started with the chopped salad, very tasty, then I tried the beef brisket which I found to be dry. He had the sampler and the best thing there was the sausage with cheese and jalapenos, super tasty. Again, after dinner went to the atrium bar for after dinner drinks and watched the atrium activities. This morning I ate breakfast in the buffet again. This time I found the eggs benedict, is was very good, eggs not over cooked or under cooked and the muffin wasn’t hard and dried out like often happens. Our first sea day and the weather is starting to dry out, it isn’t raining any more but at time it’s very foggy. Up on the pool deck you can be above the fog, then you look out the side window but can’t see the water because of the fog. We did some more ship exploring. We watched some folks try the drop water slide to see who could make it all the way through without having to exit in the trap door. We did not try this, I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it. We stopped in at Margaritaville for a margarita that was good but didn’t spend any money on food. We also stopped in at District Brew House, I had a nice stout he had a cider. Tonight, we ate at Cagney’s. We both had rib eyes that were very tasty and also enjoyed the au gratin potatoes. After dinner we had reservations for the go karts. I’m glad we tried them, although I don’t think I would do them again. Since the track is so narrow, they turn into bumper cars rather than go karts and you come off battered. Also, since they are back by the stacks and exhaust from the ship, we came off filthy and drenched. It wasn’t raining but there was so much moisture coming out of the stacks that the track was wet with standing water it was as good as raining. The next morning, we were in San Francisco. Today was a clear sunny day. I had purchased tickets to tour Alcatraz while we were there. I booked for 1PM which I thought would be plenty of time to get off the ship, but we barely made it. Since this was our first US port we have to go through customs, which turned into a fiasco. All passengers had to go through customs and couldn’t return to the ship until all had been cleared. We had a schedule that went by deck, we were group 4. They started about 8AM, our group wasn’t called until 11:10AM and we weren’t off the ship and through customs until about 12:30!We made it to the Alcatraz ferry with only about 10-15 minutes to spare. We spent a couple hours on the island exploring, then decided to just go back to the ship rather than wandering around on shore. We decided to try The Local for a late lunch. We started with artichoke dip, pretzels and I had a salad that would’ve been better with less lettuce and more other ingredients. Then I had a Rachel that was very good, and he had a burger that was cooked to his liking. Since I wasn’t up yet when we sailed in, I was waiting on the pool deck until we left and then was disappointed to see the fog rolling in right before sail away. It was so foggy we could barely see the bridge. We didn’t have any dinner reservations and just ate in the buffet. The pizza in the buffet is really good. Tonight, we had reservations for Jersey Boys late show. I thought they did a very good job on this show, I’ve seen the Broadway touring version several times and couldn’t figure out what they might’ve cut, it also seemed to move at a faster pace. I think it ran about one hour forty minutes. Eggs benedict in the buffet again for our last sea day. Today was warmer and sunnier than before, we even sat in loungers by the pool for a while it was so nice. We stopped by the store for a few souvenirs. Tonight, we ate at Los Lobos. We each had some kind of enchilada mine with green sauce his with red. We both enjoyed them. Our dining package was used up, so we paid for this, I think it was about $25 including the auto tip. Since we only had the one suitcase, we decided to carry it off. It seemed like they expected us to debark before they started calling luggage tags, so we left when they called our floor, but I suspect we might still be there if we had waited for an elevator, so he carried the suitcase down to leave the ship. I had booked a car to bring us to LAX, we were off the ship and out of the terminal early so I called, and our ride came to get us early. It was Friday morning, so the traffic was bad our driver took us on many surface streets to avoid the traffic jams. We arrived at the airport too early to check in so had to wait a bit, but that’s much better than being late. We had time for lunch before boarding the plane. Our flight home was on time and uneventful. This was a nice return to NCL for us, hopefully we will sail with them again soon. I would consider NCL for itineraries that we are familiar with the ports so that we wouldn’t want a ship excursion. For our two ports I found the excursion sold by NCL to be significantly higher priced than the same excursion on the other cruise lines we frequent. I hope they find a way to make the Bliss elevators more efficient. Maybe there just aren’t enough elevators for the number of people on board. We enjoyed the food options and found the staff to be very friendly and efficient.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise due to the itinerary as coming from Europe and having family in Vancouver meant I could visit them before heading off on our adventure. Big NCL fan and happy to be trying Bliss it was very exciting to see it in ... Read More
I chose this cruise due to the itinerary as coming from Europe and having family in Vancouver meant I could visit them before heading off on our adventure. Big NCL fan and happy to be trying Bliss it was very exciting to see it in Vancouver port. Boarding process was very smooth and easy and as the cruise had come empty from Seattle the day before very nice to have our cabin ready and waiting for us. Our cabin steward was always friendly and on hand to help us with whatever we needed. The cabin was superb, very comfortable and clean and a wonderful view from the balcony. Very important on this cruise due to the spectacular views sailing under both Lions Gate bridge in Vancouver ( A first for Bliss and very scary when you see how close it looks to be to the bridge going under ) and also the Golden Gate in San Francisco. I was very impressed with the ship overall but felt like some of the new high tech features were taking away from some of the more simpler activities. The go carts were very good and highly recommend reserving your time slot as soon as you board as it was fuly booked for the whole week. When it came to our time they were cancelling them due to issues with the track but thankfully after an hour we were able to have our go. People need to keep to the rules though as I got stuck behind someone going incredibly slow and she refused to move to let myself or anyone else pass. We ended up having to cancel the laser tag as the server was down and so the guns didnt work. It kind of took away any fun when we saw that it was all open air so unless you do it in the dark I dont feel it would have been much fun anyway. >By far our ( my boyf and I ) fave place on the ship was the observation lounge. We snuggled onto one of the chaise longe and watched the world pass us by. A bonus having a light buffet there aswell. we actually preferred to be in there than some of the bars of an evening. The restaurants were good. We ate in Manhattan a few nights and speciality restaurants a few nights. Los Lobos was very disappointing, the food was very bland and my boyf didnt end up eating his. Our friends were not to keen on Ocean Place, we enjoyed Cagneys, as always the food was superb and La Cucina very good too. The Havana show was not really to my taste and quite a few people walked out half way through. Saying that though Jersey boys was by far one of the best theatre shows I have seen at sea. Also I spent alot of time watching the different Beatles shows performed by Beatlemania Live at the Cavern club and thought they were brilliant. The entertainment was fun and varied and had plenty to keep you ocupied. I cant wait for the day I get to sail on Bliss again. Wonderful holiday Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We decided to add the thermal suite  pass for the full cruise.  We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days.  The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down in.  We used them ... Read More
We decided to add the thermal suite  pass for the full cruise.  We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days.  The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down in.  We used them all. Relaxing in total comfort with wonderful views from the thermal suit aft windows made me realize how blessed we were to be on the NCL Bliss.  We also enjoyed the CC get together. Unfortunately we missed the cabin crawl.  We told Stephenie  (Dotty) about how we wanted to see the haven and she suggested we contact Jovo-the head of hotel services.  I called Jovo and asked if it would be possible to get a 5 min look/tour inside the Haven.  He said he was not sure and would ask if it would be possible to do on a port day for just 5 mins.  He then said someone on his staff would get back to me. Alas, we never heard back from his staff. No worries though since we were pleased with our ship experience overall. David loved the ship and wants to return. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose the cruise for it's Itinerary- chose daring excursions, helicoptor ride over the glacier, glacial climbing, canoeing, off roading on the logging trails. Alaska landscape does not disapoint- enamored by Alaska's beauty !! ... Read More
Chose the cruise for it's Itinerary- chose daring excursions, helicoptor ride over the glacier, glacial climbing, canoeing, off roading on the logging trails. Alaska landscape does not disapoint- enamored by Alaska's beauty !! Had been to Alaska before, but this trip took the cake. Russia's Petropavlovsk was a small town people very friendly there surprised that there was lack of souvenirs. Japan was eye opening - took an excursion to Towana Lake & Gorge, what a way to see the beautiful greenery & streams - just stunning ! The tour included an authentic Japanese lunch which was so delicious. Never can get food like that back in the states. Entertainment: the boat had a good selection of entertainment Hypnotist Richard Barker was the best ! Barker put on a great show - went to both show times loved it that much. Barker then put on a late evening only adults show - and another slam dunk, just fun & fascinating. Hypnotist Richard Barker was a standout! He also did a seminar on Weight Loss which was very interesting and well attended. Other Entermaint standouts: The Russian Acrobatic Duo - just a wonderful pair wowing the audience, there was also an excellent Circ de Soliel thouroughly entertaining excellent quality and wow factor, too. There was even a group that did all Bee Gees songs and everyone stood for all the Saturday Night Fever tunes - loads of fun Restaurant Standout: Cagney's Steakhouse a premium restaurant if you take the dining package - did this one 2 times. Non Standouts: Basic food on the boat, disappointed with Garden Cafe, and even the grand dining rooms, seems if I order chicken it's anything but the breast meat, soups are cold, food lacks seasoning, service varied in terms of how long one had to wait for what they ordered, staff seem overworked since it appeared most seating were not staffed enough and therefore not all experiences were quality of any sort. Gettting a seat is another issue - most times ate outside on the deck - sometimes had to wear a jacket due to cold & wind, too :-) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has ... Read More
Embarkation was terrible: we waited for 1 hour in line. On-board time was 2 p.m. but the ship did not depart until midnight- all that time we could have spent in Vancouver. Cabin was comparable to other crusielines but the furniture has begun to show its age. Room and food service were excellent Food was less sophisticated than say Holland Cruiselines but selection was broader to accomodate more nationalities. Entertainment was above average as were the enrichment activities- very iportant on a repositioning cruise. Disembarkation was orderly. Shuttle buses to connect city transportation were welcome. Excursions were much more expensive than what one could buy on shore. In Petropavlovsk thtat was not a choice but the excursion to Kaytak village was worth the money. The seamanship was excellent particularly how the crew managed to avoid a typhoon and yet to make every schediuled port with enough on-shore time. USD14.50 per-day charge is much larger than what we paid elsewhere just a year ago. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
We enjoyed a transatlantic Cruise on the Epic in April 2018, so decided to try the transpacific. This cruise was far better than the first. The ship was one of the medium size ones with about 2400 passengers as compared to the Epic with ... Read More
We enjoyed a transatlantic Cruise on the Epic in April 2018, so decided to try the transpacific. This cruise was far better than the first. The ship was one of the medium size ones with about 2400 passengers as compared to the Epic with about 4000. Unlike the Epic, most of the Jewel’s public areas were appropriately sized, some seats were normally, but not always, available in most bars, restaurants & entertainment without excessive waiting. Our mini suite on deck 11 was spacious & well laid out; I even had a bathtub! Food was very good, although menus did seem to start repeating toward the end of the 19 day cruise. Some passengers continued on for another 16 days. I think that might be too long on the same ship at one time. The music, shows & other activities were excellent and suited my tastes. Offering of shore excursions was varied & interesting. Cruise director, Dan the Man, was on top of everything, even the route change due to a typhoon! Staff was very friendly and service was excellent. A medical emergency which required an extra stop was handled well with good passenger communication as was the threat posed by a large typhoon. NCI made it clear that safety was their top priority. We really enjoyed the cruise, loved the Jewel & are looking forward to cruising with on her or a similar Norwegian ship again . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 1 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was okay, but not the best. We enjoyed the slow Pacific crossing, but having been on 2 previous Alaska cruises, that part wasn't a highlight. Petropavlovsk was a great stop because of the great weather and the stops in Japan were interesting and surprisingly different from each other, making it a good introduction to Japan. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Sadly, our embarkation in Vancouver was a disaster due to slow processing blamed on inadequate numbers of staff. As a Vancouverite, I was embarrassed by both the slow service and the obnoxious cruise terminal staff directing traffic. Vancouver really needs to do better. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but the quality of the presentations was only average. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center was replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather ... Read More
Original cruise booking process was poor because of repeated incorrect information given by numerous NCL booking staff members. I should have taken this as a leading indicator of things to come. The itinerary was great and the weather was fantastic, NCL however was a very mixed bag. But don’t get me wrong, even a mediocre day on a cruise is pretty damn good. Internet Service - we paid for the unlimited streaming service advertised / offered. NCL should not advertise and collect large sums of money for services when it can’t come anywhere clise to delivering them. Yes I’m aware of the technical challenges of providing internet service at sea, but I believed NCL’s advertising because their competition also advertises this service. Unlike NCL however their competition actually privides it (and charges less). Main dining restaurant service was suprisingly bad. It got very old missing the evening shows because dinner service was soooo slow. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The itinerary was great! This was a repositioning cruise, and we thought was a great cruise for a great price. 19 nights sailing through Alaska, Russia, and ending in Japan. We stopped at 4 different stops in Alaska, one stop in Russia, ... Read More
The itinerary was great! This was a repositioning cruise, and we thought was a great cruise for a great price. 19 nights sailing through Alaska, Russia, and ending in Japan. We stopped at 4 different stops in Alaska, one stop in Russia, and 4 stops in Japan. This was everything we hoped it be. Great stops with fantastic tours. And the days at sea were just as enjoyable. The ships entertainment was top notch. We saw a show every night, and the shows were fantastic. There was a Cerque show that we saw that was as good as any major show you’d see in Vegas. The whole 19 nights seemed to just fly by. The staff was incredible, and the service was excellent. So friendly, and everyone worked so hard to make sure our journey was the best. The food was great, and all the different restaurants were fun to visit, and served delicious food. We will be doing another cruise with Norwegian very soon! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was the least favorite of my 4 NCL cruises (16 cruises total). This ship needs refurb. The carpets in the rooms are terrible. Some of the bad: -Food was cold or cool almost 50% of the time in the MDR. -How many times did the ... Read More
This was the least favorite of my 4 NCL cruises (16 cruises total). This ship needs refurb. The carpets in the rooms are terrible. Some of the bad: -Food was cold or cool almost 50% of the time in the MDR. -How many times did the matre d’ speak to us? Zero. In 21 days. But he visited the table next to us nightly. -JC Sanchez cruise director? Rarely left his office. Seen only at the show nightly -debarkation in Seattle took over 2 hours. My friends missed their noon NCL booked flight. -Internet was terrible. Out a solid 48 hours one time. They said they got a new satellite. It was worse after. -Volume of noice was so loud you couldn’t sleep till after midnight. In a “quiet”room -curtains had holes in them and Alaska sun shines 20 hours a day -Menus very repitative on 21 day cruise, and no fresh Alaska salmon?. -Chin Chin was really bad, and the food was half cold. Good: Fee dining was excellent Activities were lively and plentiful O’Sheehans was Great, and the staff and service excellent Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting Japan and Alaska. This was our 11th cruise, all previous cruises with Royal Carribbean and Princess Cruises. The embarkation process in Yokohama took over 2 hours, we had previously ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - visiting Japan and Alaska. This was our 11th cruise, all previous cruises with Royal Carribbean and Princess Cruises. The embarkation process in Yokohama took over 2 hours, we had previously experienced 30 minutes maximum on other cruises. The same applied to disembarking we were left mid way on the gangway for 40 minutes with no explanation. The communication on the ship was very poor with instructions often contradictory. We finally met our cabin attendant on the 4th day which is not the usual practice on other cruise lines. The service in the dining rooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner was non existent, orders were 80% of the time incorrectly prepared. The food was tasteless and uninteresting. Free style dining may have had something to do with this as we were not allocated with the same waiters at each meal and there appeared to be no personalised service provided. The customer service staff were sullen and quite grumpy given the nature of their job - to provide customer service. The Asian complimentary restaurant was also very tasteless, we had few meals there to get away from the dining room however we reverted to paying at the Specialty restaurants in a bid to find something of quality to eat. Entertainment in the theatre was just average, the two gymnastic performances were excellent. The plus was the music provided by the bands and guitar player/singer in the various bars each evening. We would definitely not travel with Norwegian again given there are a number of other cruise lines that offer a better experience Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We had high hopes for this cruise. From Tokyo to Seattle! Alaska is gorgeous! Unfortunately when all was said and done it was really "just OK". I won't review NCL specifically here other than to say that since we first ... Read More
We had high hopes for this cruise. From Tokyo to Seattle! Alaska is gorgeous! Unfortunately when all was said and done it was really "just OK". I won't review NCL specifically here other than to say that since we first sailed NCL 5 years ago we have noticed a steady decline in quality and amenities. Their "chocolate night" is gone. The quality of the food is noticeably lower. Etc. From other cruisers I've spoken with this is not unique to NCL (HAL has been mentioned a few times by people I know). But we sailed NCL, and so that's what I will criticize. The crew was fine. That has been the one constant in all our NCL cruises. They are friendly, helpful, and just generally really nice. No complaints there at all. That said, there were significant organizational problems with disembarking in several ports. In Petropavlosk, for example, we missed our excursion because getting off the ship took over four hours. I knew someone who claims he saw what the problem was, but I won't resort to hearsay since I didn't witness it myself. I will just say there is no excuse for those sorts of delays, and the organizing of the disembarking was a mess. It wasn't as bad in most of the other ports, though Seattle was a nightmare. Again, poor organizing caused us to have a drastically shortened tour of Seattle. We were supposed to see Pike Street and some other locations, but all we had time to do was the Space Needle. No refund, or even partial refund or ship credit, was offered for either of those fiascoes which were THEIR FAULT. The food was very mediocre. Some of it was downright bad. Their eggs Benedict was raw. Not just once, but each of the three or four times we checked it out. A runny yoke is expected, but most of the white was runny too. That's not right. There was a variety of dishes available, but the seasoning was almost always very mild. Mild to the point that you couldn't really tell it was seasoned many times. Even in the premium restaurants (which we ate a few times). All in all, unacceptable. I can't pin this only on the Jewel, or this cruise. As I said, we've sailed NCL several times over the past five years, several different ships, and we've noted the steady decline in food quality with each successive cruise. Unless something changed we probably would not do this sort of itinerary on NCL again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east ... Read More
We have kids and grandkids in LA area, so we were looking for a cruise that left out of LA. We've been on 5 NCL cruises - 3 being Pride of America to Hawaii. We chose it for the departure port and 7 day itinerary. Flew in from east coast the day before arriving at the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles airport well after 11:00 p.m. Good choice, we had points, so a freebie, but the location was great and the shuttle to airport in the morning to meet NCL shuttle was best way for us. We paid $25 each to have NCL shuttle us from LAX to San Pedro port. About half hour bus ride, but with all NCL folk. Could have gotten Super Shuttle for $18 or so, but they would have stopped at hotels along the way. Plus I felt more comfortable having NCL be in charge. Check in was fairly easy, we are Latitude and got through the line quick, but lines weren't bad for others not Latitude at about 11:30. We traveled light, carry on and backpack for the 7 days, so no experience with the luggage drop this time, although it looked pretty crowded and confusing for first timers. Our room was on the 11 deck and a mini suite. Always book balcony, so this was a first and OMG to have a big bathroom, with a full size tub and separate toilet area made all the difference. It will be hard to go back. We had more storage than we've ever had although the balcony was a bit smaller, but adequate. Grabbed lunch in Tsar's for a nice sit down lunch and avoided the buffet crowds. Met some nice folk in the line checking in and ended up having quite a few meals together. Couple sea days were much needed for us and we didn't mind. Lots of activities on board if you wanted to participate. First port was Puerta Vallarta, we usually don't book excursions, but a $50 credit enticed us. Glad for our choice of John Huston's property, Las Caletas. for $139 each. Nice 1/2 hour double decker boat ride to island, music on board. I would do this excursion again. We had a great time partaking in the cooking class with the chef. No crowds. Made seafood paella, guacamole, salsa and sea bass ceviche. Wandered around the property which wasn't crowded at all. Many little areas with hammocks overlooking and overhanging the water, nice walking paths, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkle, swimming etc, all included in the price. Lots of life guards everywhere watching. There are some huge rocks in the water, so be aware and wear water shoes. Also had about 4-5 little "islands" that you could swim out to, really a large float that had a palm tree, hammock, umbrella and deck chairs to sit on. Very tropical. Food was awesome at many little areas and open air restaurants, also included was food and mucho drinks. Please tip the guys tho, they worked so very hard the whole time we were there. Walked to the top where they had zip line, giant slide that spit you out in the water - was going to do it until I climbed to the top and asked a couple guys who had just finished. They were pretty macho, and said it was fun, but the force of hitting the water was pretty intense. That's all I needed to hear as I didn't want to end up in a Mexican hospital. Loved this excursion and loved that once we got there, we didn't have to pull out our wallets for anything! Mazatlan- winged it and probably should have planned better or stayed on board. Planned on going to Stone Island as I had read reviews on how to get there and planned on going to Lety's restaurant, but ended up wandering around like a tourist near port - not much there. Cabo San Lucas - was windy and cool. Excursions cancelled. Had planned on renting a catamaran, but it was a no go. Lots of long sleeve and sweatshirts sold there. Took a pedal bike for $8 to Old Town, which we thought would be a town, maybe church, historical stuff. Ended up being vendor market, with anything from meat, poultry to clothing. Stunk to high heaven. Grabbed a cab back and wandered around the Marina and shops near the port. You really need to get out of the port area or have a plan. Weather didn't cooperate for many. Another sea day and back to San Pedro. Entertainment - Ended up being picked for the Newly Wed game and that was fun as it always is. Husband always shy, but agreed this time - go figure. Good memories and a DVD to show at holidays with our kids! We love NCL's entertainment. The "kids" in the song/dance troupe were very good and we enjoyed each night something new and different. The comedian Sam's early shows were hysterical and his late night adult show even better. Don't come late unless you want to be made fun of. JP was a magic/comedian and was also very entertaining - no we couldn't figure out his tricks. Will be on Penn & Teller coming up. I think NCL had it's act together and the staff was spectacular. We met the Cruise Critic people and the Officers the second day, they arranged a private tour of the galley for us on the last sea day. I have NEVER seen such a clean "restaurant" their last score was 100% and I can see why. Latitude cocktail party always a nice touch as they try to make you feel special.Captain was very nice and seemed to take much time with each guest we saw him interacting with. He was hoping to dock and be there for the birth of his first grandchild, so I hope he made it. Good staff, all seemed happy and under control. We enjoyed the complimentary restaurants and ate mostly at Tsars and Chin Chin. Usually got breakfast at the back of the ship and ate it there. Very nice bartenders there and quieter. Went to every show available and enjoyed them all. Bought a couple "future cruise" deals they were promoting. Can use within 4 years, so that keeps us coming back. Probably do Pride of America again (#4) to Hawaii as we love that one and our special balcony room which I won't mention the number here! Or Greek Islands, depending on how the world situation is. The NCL staff was super friendly, accommodating. Pedro the cruise director was really good, restaurant staff, bartenders (First time for beverage package, and I will say it was worth it, but not in the calories). Can't really say we had any issues, but then again, we go on a cruise not trying to be picky and complaining. You're on a cruise people, things happen, roll with it or make yourself miserable. It's a floating hotel, you're not unpacking, or driving. Relax. P.S. Getting off the boat was another matter I almost forgot - if you have a flight - leave early because we were backed up quite a bit. When you leave gangway, don't wait for an elevator - find the escalators - I think to the far left as you leave gangway. We got shuttled into a line that was for elevators and we didn't know there was an option until too late. Every wheelchair, handicapped, elderly person got to the front of the line we were in and only so many could fit in 1 elevator. Also you will be in a long que to go through customs once you get off the elevator/escalator. Don't cut your flight close by staying on the boat too long. Good half hour plus in custom line, plus the elevator line, made for an hour plus after we left the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Needed a short refresher cruise from a home port. We have sailed on several NCL ships including the Sky, Sun, Gem, Jade, Epic, Star, POA, and this last cruise on the Jewel. NCL has been consistent in their delivery of a nice lower cost ... Read More
Needed a short refresher cruise from a home port. We have sailed on several NCL ships including the Sky, Sun, Gem, Jade, Epic, Star, POA, and this last cruise on the Jewel. NCL has been consistent in their delivery of a nice lower cost product with a casual atmosphere, a little too casual in some venues....We have also sailed Princess, Disney and will be trying Celebrity in September 2017. The entertainment was adequate. The comedians Sam Fedele and Bob Brizendine, were FANTASTIC! Could have watched these Comedians all cruise. Luminescence was very good. The NCL group Souled Out was Fantastic! The Alambres trio were very good. The production show Band on the Run was TERRIBLE, Hokey and the Choreography of these talented kids was insulting to their talents. Le Cirque Bijou wasn't much better and we left after the Hokiness of Band on the Run. The food was typical, very good and ate too much of it. I do wish they did have a basic dress code, the tight tank tops on Men that looked dirty (also go by another name) should not be allowed in main dining rooms, very tacky. The service was pretty good in most venues with a few hiccups at O'Sheehans. The bar service was good, bought drinks individually and thought the $$ was fair. The food and dining experience was MUCH better in the Pay for Play venues. I liked Teppanyaki and Cagney's the best. Overall we had a great time, I make my own fun so really didn't have a big agenda. I wouldn't chose this ship until after a major refurbishment, I would chose another NCL ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
This was a very clean, happy ship. The washy-washy staff even had a guitar and would serenade us as we entered the buffet. We ate at all of the complimentary venues except Azura. All of them had tasty choices. My favorite for embarkation ... Read More
This was a very clean, happy ship. The washy-washy staff even had a guitar and would serenade us as we entered the buffet. We ate at all of the complimentary venues except Azura. All of them had tasty choices. My favorite for embarkation day is always the Shrimp Sandwich on Pretzel Bun in the Tsars. Even though the lunch menu there does not change, I never had the same thing twice. The Chin Chin was good and the fried calamari was plentiful. We also ate at O’Sheehans and the burger was good. We ate all our dinners at Tsars. There are scones, cookies and fruit daily in the Great Outdoors at 3PM. Stephen Jacobsen was our Hotel Director and made sure that every staff member under him was a team player and he gave out his phone number freely to make sure there were no problems that went unresolved. He was out in the public areas almost all the time interacting with cruisers and staff. We didn’t have any problem finding loungers at the pool. The comedian and comedian-Magician were both very good. The Latitudes’ Party had cheese and crackers and of course drinks. We had fun doing a few trivia games. We did all NCL excursions and they turned out fine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I've wanted to do a Pacific Coastal since I started cruising. When I look at the Jewel the time and schedule were right along with the cost so I went for it. I got the beverage package and enjoyed that with many good drinks, and a ... Read More
I've wanted to do a Pacific Coastal since I started cruising. When I look at the Jewel the time and schedule were right along with the cost so I went for it. I got the beverage package and enjoyed that with many good drinks, and a couple of not so good pre-mixed ones, ick. I do wish NCL would allow for coffee drinks on the package but I was able to get a regular coffee with Baileys on the package at the Atruim. I had originally purchased an interior room but it went directly to a guarantee instead of letting me choose my cabin. That was fine with me since I didn't have any location requirements. When it finally was assigned about 70 days out, they had put me in a porthole cabin which I wound up liking very much. I also purchased a spa pass and enjoyed the spa thermal suite at least once a day. Since I had gone over the 250 minutes on my last cruise I just purchased the unlimited internet and decided I would do a live thread on the Norwegian board. It's titled "Live from the Jewel - 4/30/17 Pacific Coastal" there and under my CC name CoffeeGoddess. We did a cabin crawl and most of the cabins were really nice, except for the balcony on the balcony cabin. the coating had peeled up in places and the people in there talked about sticking to the floor when it heated up. Actually the entire Deck 14 forward on the ship was just like that with the coating missing in many places. Food was good, I ate in Azure twice for dinner and it was excellent with great service both times. Tsar's once at embarkation and it was super slow service; Sushi once and took a bit for the chef to come since I was sat exactly as they opened but the sushi was worth the wait. I also ate in O'seehans once and service there was also slow and the Garden Buffet always had a crowd but the food was good and I could always find a seat. The only real issue on this cruise was when I was waiting for the Group Coordinator, Luis, for our CC M&G. He was late, hadn't put up any signage, and when he finally showed blamed me because I hadn't called him back. Turns out after hearing from a couple of other people who had set up M&Gs with him on other sailings this very typical of him. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Repositioning cruise is a great value and a fabulous itinerary with San Francisco and Victoria stops. We only had to purchase one-way flights home since we were able to embark from our local port of Los Angeles. I don't need a bikini, ... Read More
Repositioning cruise is a great value and a fabulous itinerary with San Francisco and Victoria stops. We only had to purchase one-way flights home since we were able to embark from our local port of Los Angeles. I don't need a bikini, binge-drinking cruise at my age so I enjoyed the cool, northwest climates. Although, we had very nice, warm weather on our excursion days. We could not believe the menus and the food offerings. They were tremendous. We chose the Unlimited Dining Package to take advantage of the discount on three specialty dining restaurants: Moderno, Le Bistro, and Cagney's. Each one was fabulous with unbelievably delicious choices and the best service possible. We have been boasting ever since we disembarked. We felt a little like royalty in Tsar's Palace with the Salmon Benedict! We truly enjoyed the musical entertainers, especially Lisa Volk on piano and R. R. on guitar. The Cirque de Bijoux was particularly impressive with the singers, dancers and acrobatics. We were touched by the staff filling the stage and theater, and then lining the hallway afterward. I know they must do this every week, but man, I'm a softie. The ship was a beauty, and always so clean! Our cabin steward, Charlton, was perfect and very stealthy. He always managed to monitor when we would be out to tidy up and provide new sheets and towels. He always had a joke for us when we saw him, too. I'm sure there could be a few more modern touches to the Jewel relating to technology, but we enjoyed un-plugging during the cruise since the WiFi is WAY too expensive. We spent time in the Thermal Spa Suite with two passes. I can't tell you how wonderful the steam room and heated mosaic lounge chairs and jacuzzi pool were. I also took advantage of the Med Spa services. Anyone who needs a happy place should steam and dunk and lay on a heated lounge chair. Brink your shades because on a sunny day, the light reflecting from the ocean is very bright and beautiful. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My wife and I are Gold card holders with Carnival having been on 15+ cruises with them over the last 7 years so when we decided to try something different we went with NCL because the port in Long Beach California is so close by. As a ... Read More
My wife and I are Gold card holders with Carnival having been on 15+ cruises with them over the last 7 years so when we decided to try something different we went with NCL because the port in Long Beach California is so close by. As a note to understand some of my perspectives we are both in our early 50’s. My goal with this is to try and relate many of the questions that I had about the differences between the cruise lines and the overall ship experience. Frankly this is something that I looked all over the internet for and couldn’t find much about. First and foremost, here is what I believe is the main difference between the two; Carnival is setup as a weeklong party and NCL is set up as a weeklong vacation. I know that doesn’t completely make sense but try to think about it. NCL was all about relaxation and Carnival is all about partying. For myself, I don’t believe this changes the overall ratings of the cruises it just made things feel a little different. It is hard to walk around on a Carnival ship without being asked if you want a drink, on NCL… I had to wait multiple times in line at a bar because they didn’t have the bar staff approaching people that were sitting down. I sat 18 feet from the bar (yes I know I could get off my butt and go to the bar but there was a line) for over 20 minutes and then finally got up since no bar staff came around. (as a side note, on day one this wasn’t the case….. I just don’t know where all the staff that was there on day one disappeared to the rest of the cruise.) This wasn’t the case in the Casino where they always had plenty of staff to get you a drink. My wife and I also joked that on Carnival you dodged strollers and on NCL you dodged walkers…… again this is not a bad thing. On day one the ship was filled with the sounds of James Taylor, ACDC, Kansas, Zeplin,….. I could go on and on but the point is I knew 90% of the music that was played on this ship. ( you could really feel that they are going after my generation) On Carnival the music is party music, calypso by the pool to give the Jamaican vibe and more modern music in the other areas. Again, this doesn’t make things better, just different. My final comparison before I actually just focus on this specific cruise and ship. The atmosphere… the visuals, the overall appearance of the ships interior. Carnival is again a party... crazy colors and bright lights and odd décor that just makes your eyes bobble a bit when you are really drunk. NCL was much more elegant, relaxing, sit a spell……. Overall I love being on a cruise ship and getting away from the world. No phone, no email, no noise of the world bugging you. I hate that they are now starting to offer internet packages on the ship…. I go to these things to get away from it all….. 15 minutes away from port your phone stops working and just let the peace of life flow over you. Now this specific cruise and ship: We had an interior cabin. I like this since I can have a few drinks in the early afternoon and go to the cabin and take a nap in darkness. Awesome. It is also so much cheaper and what the hell do people spend huge dollars for a fancy room when there is so much to do on board? Maybe I am just a cheap skate…….. I would rather spend the money on the extra dining and drinking. Dining 1. It’s a cruise ship guys…. I read some reviews and they complain the buffet wasn’t exceptional, etc… It is a buffet. That’s all. And guess what, it’s basically the same buffet on day one as day 5 and day 7. I say that to let you know you are going to get sick of it. It is good but pace yourself so you don’t eat everything on day one thinking it will be different tomorrow, it’s not. So, try one thing today, one thing tomorrow, etc... this will keep the overall feel of it fresh. Dining 2. NCL has an interesting concept where you can go to various restaurants that are included in the price and a few that you pay extra for. We went to the Chinese restaurant and were surprised that it was pretty good. I suggest this to everyone…. and its free… (remember I can be a cheap skate) We also paid for the teppanyaki. We had a great time and the food was great, not amazing, great. I suggest this also. We never went to the “dining room” so I can’t say anything about that. Embark and debark… it’s a ship. Most of the waiting is due to security. There was a line but who cares, you’re on vacation. Getting off the ship was fast and simple. We always carry our own bags. Entertainment. The magician comic was the best on board. The other shows were okay. We did fall asleep with these two acrobats that just bored the crap out of us. I WILL STATE THIS AGAIN THOUGH… THE MUSIC WAS AWESOME! It was just nice walking around the ship and finding so many great live singers playing music that I grew up with. 70’s and 80’s tunes 90 % of the time. I was happy. Fitness and Recreation. I think this is the sports category……. The only exercise I got was lifting a drink up….. have to read someone else’s review to find out about this. Overall I had an absolute blast…. I always do. If you come to relax and just enjoy life, you will be doing well. If you come to be treated to 5 star service and the most amazing food on the planet…. You better start spending some serious cash and not bother with either Carnival or NCL. It is a good time. Good food. Good Drink. Peace and quiet. One last thought… not trying to be a jerk or anything…. If you have little ones that have to be in a stroller, take them to Disneyland. I know these cruises have a kids area, I have never been inclined to visit that part of the ship, but do you really go on a cruise to push a stroller around? How about if you go on a Disney cruise, twice the price, but the kids will probably have a great deal more fun. Just a thought. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
we came with a party of 38 people the service on board was excellent, the food at the buffet had a lot to offer and was very good, and the fine dinning was excellent but some of the servers could have been a little more friendly, the on ... Read More
we came with a party of 38 people the service on board was excellent, the food at the buffet had a lot to offer and was very good, and the fine dinning was excellent but some of the servers could have been a little more friendly, the on board activities had a lot to offer or you could sit back and enjoy the cruise. This was my 3rd cruise and my first with Norwegian and was by far the best. Our Cabin was always clean as was the bath room the stewards could have not done any more to make us feel welcome. Being a smoker there were a few places one could go with out being a social out cast. My partner and I were very happy with the service so much so we will be going with Norwegian on our next cruise to Alaska next year. Would like to thank all the crew for a wonderful break Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because it went where we wanted to go. We loved it. Our first time with Norwegian. Why had no one told us before? We have only ever cruised with Princess. We will definitely go Norwegian again. The rooms are a little ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went where we wanted to go. We loved it. Our first time with Norwegian. Why had no one told us before? We have only ever cruised with Princess. We will definitely go Norwegian again. The rooms are a little smaller, but who cares? The bathrooms are MUCH larger. Actually spent time lounging in the shower. So many food options too. Staff was friendly attentive. Cirque shows and musicals were outstanding. We never felt crowded and never waited in a line-up. I hate buffets and yet these had beautiful and delicious ethnic foods. And (OMG!!) an espresso machine for your morning coffee included. Help yourself. We also loved being able to get on and off the ship with such ease. No hassles. It seems they just assume you know what you are doing so no one is directing you at every corner. Thank you, Norwegian! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto ... Read More
This was the worst cruise ever!!! It was to stop at mazaltan/Puerto Vallarta/cabo. One week prior to sailing we received a email that Mazaltan was to be cancelled because they needed to have routine maintenance on the ship in Puerto villarta and we would be there overnight we thought ok we can deal with that. We get on ship to discover our cabo excursion was cancelled so we go down to schedule for another one and the ones we want are sold out ok we decide we will just shop in cabo and do our own thing. We go to schedule our specialty dining and they are full we have to eat at 10:00 pm and one of them were totally booked. The 2 days at sea were lacking of entertainment and the staff is so rude the bars usually only had one bartender so the wait was ridiculous. We get to Puerto Vallarta and our excursions were awesome on the second day was told to be back at the ship by 2:59 we would set sail at 3:30 pm ar 8:00pm the captain came on and said the URGENT maintenance (they had said it was routine) had taken longer and would set sail by 10:00 pm for cabo. The next morning at 8:00 am the captain came on again stating we were not able to set sail until 11:30 that night and they would have to cancel cabo. So NO MAZALTAN AND NO CABO we were at sea for 5 days of the 7. The food was by far monotonous the same thing over and over again. The staff became more rude because the guest were frustrated. We only seen one port and everyone wondered why we paid all these port fees they did agree to refund 25% of the cruise on our last day but that is really a insult seeing how we not only did not see 2 ports but also waisted a week of vacation. I have cruised many time on other cruise lines this was my first on Norweigen and it will be our last. We had planned to schedule a Alaska cruise with em them while there but I will find another cruise line for that. Read Less
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